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Results: 1 - 15 of 193
View Brent Rathgeber Profile
Ind. (AB)
Mr. Speaker, this week is the 800th anniversary of the great charter. Magna Carta is on display at the Museum of History and will soon tour all of Canada. I encourage all Canadians to view it and I encourage all parliamentarians to contemplate its meaning.
Magna Carta's concept is that the Crown is bound by a contract with the people and that nobody is above the law.
Representative government and the rule of law became entrenched based on the principles contained in Magna Carta. Canada inherited its foundational government, its parliamentary executive, and judicial institutions from Magna Carta.
It is the rule of law and democracy that are at the core of Canadian values.
The deal struck at Runnymede resulted in the baronial council that evolved into Parliament as guarantor of freedom, property, and due process.
However, in this place, we frequently compromise our own purpose. Our core function is to constrain the executive and prevent it from seizing too much money or too much power. Holding government to account is the essential role of the parliamentarian.
For those who are seeking the honour to return to Parliament, I would ask them to please remember the lessons of Magna Carta and why their constituents sent them to this place.
View Brent Rathgeber Profile
Ind. (AB)
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-697, An Act to establish a process to recall members of Parliament.
He said: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise to table a private member's bill, an act to establish a process to recall members of Parliament. This legislation, also to be known as the “recall of a member of Parliament act”, would allow the electors of an electoral district to apply to the Chief Electoral Officer for the issuance of a petition for the recall of their member of Parliament.
Recall legislation would allow electors disappointed with their representative to recall or fire that member. If the petition was signed by at least 25% of the electors who were eligible to vote for that member and still resided in that electoral district, the seat would be declared vacant and a recall election would be held on the same basis as a by-election.
The recalled member could contest the by-election to determine if he still maintained the confidence of his or her constituents. A recall petition could not be issued within 12 months from the member's election or within the 12 months preceding a fixed election date.
For a representative democracy to function, government must be responsible to Parliament and parliamentarians must be accountable to their constituents. Accordingly, I encourage all members to support the recall of a member of Parliament act.
View Brent Rathgeber Profile
Ind. (AB)
seconded by Mr. Hyer, moved for leave to introduce Bill C-686, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (detention in custody).
He said: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise and table a private member's bill, an act to amend the Criminal Code regarding detention in custody.
The bill would be known as Dave Wynn's law, in honour of the St. Albert RCMP constable who was fatally wounded in the line of duty on January 17 of this year.
Amazingly, Constable Wynn's assailant had more than 50 criminal convictions, including breaches of court orders and failures to appear in court, and 38 outstanding charges. However, the assailant made bail without mention of his criminal past or his failures to appear, causing RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson to publicly question the bail process and wonder how this person was “walking among us”.
Accordingly, this proposed legislation attempts to close some of the glaring loopholes in the judicial interim release or bail process by requiring the prosecution to lead evidence that the accused has previous convictions, has outstanding criminal charges, or has previously failed to appear in court.
It is a mystery how some habitual offenders can make bail, but by tightening the rules regarding the release of habitual offenders, it is hoped that all of society will be protected from those who continually flaunt the law and also the courts.
I encourage all hon. members to support Dave Wynn's law.
View Brent Rathgeber Profile
Ind. (AB)
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to table a petition signed by 267 residents of Edmonton—St. Albert and surrounding communities calling upon the government to adopt international aid policies that support family farmers, especially women, and recognize their vital role in the struggle against hunger and poverty, and also to ensure that Canadian policies and programs are developed in consultation with small family farmers and that they protect the rights of the small family farmers in the global south to preserve, use, and freely exchange seeds.
View Brent Rathgeber Profile
Ind. (AB)
Mr. Speaker, this year's budget was delayed until April 21 because the government apparently required the extra time to contemplate the drastic reduction in the price of oil and reduced corporate tax revenue. However, notwithstanding this extra time, the government continues to engage in ad hocery, musing about further GST reductions and enhanced voluntary contributions to the Canada pension plan. Neither of these are necessarily bad ideas, but neither are mentioned in the budget.
Does the government have an actual plan for an economy that is contracting, or will it continue to make things up on the fly based on which way the wind is blowing, on polls and on focus groups?
View Brent Rathgeber Profile
Ind. (AB)
Mr. Speaker, omnibus budget bills are undemocratic and unfair, contain wedge issues and make a member of Parliament's job impossible to complete. On Monday night, the House was forced to cast a single yea or nay vote on Bill C-59, the government's latest omnibus budget bill. The bill is 157 pages long, divided into three parts, and part 3 is further divided into 20 divisions. This allows for a wide range of disparate topics to be covered, some supportable, many not.
I support most of the tax credits and actual budgetary items. However, I strongly oppose retroactively amending the access act to allow for the premature destruction of records. I supported ending the long gun registry, but to retroactively change the law dealing with the records while the abolition bill was being debated is a dangerous, undemocratic precedent.
In any functioning parliamentary system, this omnibus bill would be divided and there were would be separate votes on each part and on every division within each part. It is simply impossible to cast a single yea or nay on an entire disparate package.
If the government will not respect Parliament enough to allow us to do our jobs, then the Speaker must intervene to defend parliamentary privilege. That is how a functioning parliamentary democracy would proceed.
View Brent Rathgeber Profile
Ind. (AB)
Mr. Speaker, this week the new Alberta government introduced a lean, new cabinet of only 12 ministers, less than half the size of former premier Redford's grossly oversized version.
When the federal government assumed office in 2006, its original cabinet was 26 members, in the Prime Minister's own words, “designed for work—not for show”, “more focus and purpose; less process and cost”.
However, the current ministry has swelled to 39 members, by far the largest cabinet in the democratic world. Since the Prime Minister lacks the discipline to constrain the size of his cabinet, will the government support my private member's bill, Bill C-672, to statutorily limit the size of cabinet to a maximum of 26 ministers?
View Brent Rathgeber Profile
Ind. (AB)
Mr. Speaker, the cornerstone of any democracy is an effective, reliable, and fair legal system that promotes the rule of law and timely access to an independent and properly resourced court. However, for some time now Alberta has had the lowest number of Court of Queen's Bench justices per capita in Canada, and senior Alberta federal prosecutors have been warning for three years that increasingly complex cases and a shortage of senior lawyers jeopardizes those cases, as delays violate the right to be tried within a reasonable time.
With voluminous vacancies both in the Public Prosecution Service and on the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, the government's so-called tough-on-crime agenda is impeded. When will the government stop taking Albertans for granted?
View Brent Rathgeber Profile
Ind. (AB)
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-679, An Act to Establish the Communications Security Establishment Review Committee and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.
He said: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to rise and introduce the communications security establishment review committee act.
The proposed legislation would establish a five-person civilian committee to review the activities of Canada's signals intelligence agency. It would be a technical committee comprised of a full-time chairperson, an information technology expert, a security expert, a privacy expert and a lawyer with expertise in civil procedure.
The committee would conduct statutory reviews but would also investigate complaints made by Canadians and would report any violations to the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions for further investigation.
The committee may also conduct joint reviews with the Security Intelligence Review Committee and the RCMP Complaints Committee. The committee would be empowered to compel persons and documents, and also to take evidence under oath.
We know that Canada's electronic spy agency works collaboratively with the NSA, farms in metadata, and sifts through millions of videos and documents downloaded online.
Given that Bill C-51 would increase the reach of Canada's entire spy agency establishment without any additional oversight, I encourage all hon. members to support this legislation and defend the privacy rights of all law-abiding Canadians.
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